Kerala: Auto driver Anoop B buys lottery Saturday evening, wins Rs 25 crore on Sunday | Thiruvananthapuram News

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The life of 30-year-old autorickshaw driver Anoop B of Sreevaraham here took an exciting turn on Sunday, when he won the first prize of Rs 25 crore in the state government’s Onam bumper lottery.
He had bought the prize-winning ticket — TJ750605 — for the highest prize money ever in the state only on Saturday evening, and that too by breaking the piggy bank of his two-year-old son Adwaith. “I wanted to buy the ticket but was falling short of Rs 500 needed for it. I bought the ticket from a lottery agency,” he said.
Anoop, who was a cook at a wayside eatery earlier, had switched to driving the autorickshaw to take care of his family. He was expecting a visa from Malaysia next week to join as chef at a hotel there when fortune smiled on him. He will get Rs 15.75 crore after deducting the taxes.
“I had applied for a Rs 3-lakh loan from a cooperative bank. They informed me yesterday that it has been approved. I have informed them now that I don’t want that loan,” he said.
Interestingly, the Onam bumper was won by an autorickshaw driver, Jayapalan P R of Maradu, Kochi, last year also. Anoop had bought the ticket from Bhagavathy lottery agency though his cousin Sujaya is a lottery agent. “I thought I would buy it directly from the agency this time, but this was not the first ticket I took. I was not happy with the series number of the first ticket I selected. The number 750605 felt like a fancy number for me,” he said.
It was his wife Maya who informed Anoop about the bumper prize win on Sunday afternoon. “I have been taking lotteries from the age of 22 and I have won prizes several times but the maximum prize I got was only Rs 2,000,” he said.
On his future plans, he said: “I had borrowed money from a few people, which I have to repay. Then I want a house of my own. I want to help my cousin sister to complete her house and help a few other relatives.”
He has dropped his Malaysian job plan for now. “I will start a hotel of my own in the city now. I had tried a roadside eatery of my own before Onam. I will think of a bigger one now,” he said. Asked if he will purchase lottery tickets again, he said: “It is a thrill that nobody can stop. One will be compelled to take lotteries again and again once you pick up the habit.”
The second prize of Rs 5 crore went to a ticket sold in Kottayam. As many as 66.5 lakh tickets were sold in the state. Only 65 lakh lottery tickets were initially printed and additional tickets were printed to meet the high demand.

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